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What are the Surcharges on Unpaid Child Support?

San Diego, CA – Child support payments are never an easy subject to broach, no matter what financial state you and your former spouse may be in. Whether you are the custodial parent or not, this difficult issue can be exacerbated by delinquent payments.

The Basics

child support lawyer CAIn California, various measures are taken when child support payments are not made. First, in an effort to reduce the amount of unpaid support in the state, interest, and surcharges are added to delinquent accounts.

Second, in cases of payments more than 30 days late, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) can submit the delinquent parent’s information to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If payments are not completed within 150 days, the parent’s driver license will be suspended.

What’s worse is that California law doesn’t differentiate those who are financially unable to pay due to disability or job loss versus those who are able and simply refuse to make payments. Finally, the stakes rise even higher: parents who do not pay their child support over time face up to $2,000 in additional fines as well as up to one year in jail, as they are considered “in contempt of court.” California law very carefully outlines its regulations and enforcement of child support payments.

Added Interest and Fees

California adds a 10% yearly interest rate to outstanding child support payments, among the highest rates in the country. This includes interest on arrears (past-due child support), as well as retroactive support and interest on adjudicated arrears.

What if I Can’t Pay?

In the wake of the economic crisis of 2008, some parents just can’t keep up with child support payments. If you find your wages (or lack thereof) just aren’t enough, you have a few options:

  1. Try to change your child support order to make it more realistically match your circumstances.
  2. Check out the Child Support Handbook supplied by the California Department of Child Support Services.
  3. Succumb to the prescribed measures of California law:
    a. Wage assignment (garnishment)
    b. Denial of renewal of professional licenses (e.g., doctor, teacher, attorney, contractor, etc.)
    c. Denial of passport applications or renewals
    d. Loss of state income tax refunds, property tax credits, lottery winnings, and so forth
    e. Liens against renewal against real property
    f. Garnishment of workers’ compensation payments
  4. Talk with an experienced family law firm, such as San Diego-area Griffith, Young, and Lass.

When Child Support Ends

In California, child support payments automatically end when the child:

  • Graduates from high school
  • Turns 18 (if a high school graduate) or 19 (if a non-graduate)
  • Joins the military
  • Marries or enters into a legally-recognized domestic partnership
  • Dies

Since each child support case is drastically different, it’s crucial that you consult with professionals. Schedule a free consultation with John Griffith and his San Diego-based family law firm today to ensure a smooth child support process.

© 2017 Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Griffith, Young & Lass are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
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